The 100 Greatest Bands of all time - #90 The Dead Kennedys
Pioneers of hardcore punk, San Francisco’s Dead Kennedys began in 1978. Featuring the piercing guitars of East Bay Ray, the pounding bass of Klaus Flouride and drums from Ted and later D.H. Peligro, what truly made them transcendent were the powerful words and intense performance of the legendary Jello Biafra. Their fearlessness and willingness to totally offend an audience to get their point across made them, in my opinion, the closest thing to The Sex Pistols that America has ever produced. He may have been harsh and upsetting but Jello spoke the truth and when I was a teenager, I could not get enough of it.
Jello sang this one from the point of view of our corporate overlords. There was talk of making this the theme song of the next Republican convention but the new chair said no. It would only appeal to the base and they really need to bring in some more moderates.
Lynchin' the Landlord live from San Francisco. Ah, I miss the mosh pit. Of course, they called it slam dancing in those days.
Probably the most well known song in the DK catalog, this is Holiday in Cambodia.
Jello sings about police brutality in this one. He wrote this 30 years ago. Not much has changed.
What he sees escapes our sight. Sight!
Apologies to the tender-eared amongst you, but I had to include this one. When I was sixteen years old, I thought it was the greatest thing I'd ever heard.
This one has much deeper meaning now that I'm 40.
Buzzbomb! One of the great driving songs.
There will always be a Moon over Marin. This one is very sad.
There's a good story behind this song.
We finish our look at the Dead Kennedys with Night of the Living Rednecks. Ray's guitar broke, so Jello told a story about an incident in Portland, Oregon.